This post cabinet card era portrait features a profile view of a pretty woman. She looks quite proper in her fashionable clothing and with her hair gathered atop her head. She is wearing flowers as well as a lace-like necklace hanging down the front of her dress. I can’t decide it’s purpose but perhaps it is to hold a pocket watch. In fact, I believe I may see a timepiece peeking out from the top of her skirt. This image comes from the A. N. Donaldson studio in Logansport, Indiana. He did a terrific job with the soft backlighting seen in this photograph. Research revealed some biographical information about the photographer Albert Newton Donaldson (1841-1906). He settled in Logansport in 1867. Earlier, he had participated in the civil war. In 1861 he entered the service as a private and after some time left the service as a corporal. He served in Indiana’s 10th Infantry (Company H). One source reports that Donaldson deserted from his unit on 6/15/1862 at Corinth, Mississippi. A second source never mentions the desertion. The 1880 US census revealed that he was married in 1865 to Susan E Donaldson. The 1880 census, as well as the 1900 census, listed his occupation as being a photographer. This vintage photograph is in very good condition (see scans).

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The little girl that is the subject of this vintage photographic portrait is absolutely adorable. She is wearing a cute patterned dress trimmed with lace. She also is wearing a couple of hair bows. The photographer of this image is Hubert Quante who had a studio in Ferdinand, Indiana. At least I think it is Hubert Quante. The embossment below the photograph is very difficult to decipher. My research found a man named “Hubert Quante” who lived in Ferdinand. Quante (1866-1927) can be found in a number of US censuses but his occupation is never listed as a photographer. It is likely that his foray into operating a photo studio was of short duration and never coincided with a year that the census was conducted. He may not have been a photographer for a long period of time, but he did a masterful job of taking and posing this photograph. Quante was German born and arrived in the United States in 1884. In 1897 he married Ida M. Quante. The town of Ferdinand was founded in 1840 and was named after the Emperor Ferdinand 1 of Austria. Most of the town’s early settlers were German speaking and they came to the US from central Europe.  SOLD

Published in: on June 6, 2017 at 2:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
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This cabinet card portrait captures a young couple on their wedding day, or at least in their wedding clothing. They are dressed beautifully for their special day. The bride is wearing a garland of flowers.  Her white gloves are draped over the wicker chair and she is holding her hat. The bride is pretty and appears somewhat happy as she poses for this photograph. Her new husband wears an expression that looks like he either ate too much at his wedding, or that he is having second thoughts about getting married. Lets hope he just overate. The photographer of this wedding portrait is W. A. Baldridge (1860-1924) who operated a photo studio in Rosedale, Indiana. He is listed in the 1880 US Census as living in Florida, Indiana and working as a clerk. The 1920 US Census finds Baldridge living in Summit, Ohio and operating a photography business.   SOLD

Published in: on January 14, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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This cabinet card bust portrait features a pretty young girl who looks quite intense. I believe that she appears much older than her actual age. I would hypothesize that she is no older than in her young teens. She is wearing a lace collar and earrings. She has relatively short curly hair. This photograph was taken at the Hower studio in Goshen, Indiana.


Published in: on December 28, 2016 at 12:00 pm  Comments (2)  
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This cabinet card photograph features a lovely couple posing for their photograph at the Harnish & Marquart studio in Marion Indiana. The pair are well dressed and likely are financially well-to-do. The gentleman is wearing a three piece suit, a wide neck tie, and a shirt with a formal collar. He appears to be quite intense and probably wasn’t pleased that some of his hair when he learned that some of his hair was out of place in this photograph. The woman is wearing a ruffled top, fingerless gloves, a high collar, and a “busy” hat. She is holding a black parasol. Her clothing gives her a “bell shape”. Like many portraits of couples in the cabinet card era, the man is sitting and the woman is standing. It likely would be a project for the woman to take a seat, never mind, look attractive and comfortable. This image is crisp and clear. The photographers were evidently talented. Information about Mr. Harnish was readily available but that was not the case for Mr Marquart. Harnish was born in Pennsylvania in 1847 to a family of German descent. He left the family farm at age nineteen and learned photography in Myerstown, Pa. He moved to Bluffton with his family in 1867. In 1871 he married Miss Laura Myers (born 1850). George Adam Harnish opened his first photography studio in Bluffton, Indiana in 1872. In 1881 he became a town councilman in Bluffton. He sold his photography business to Benjamin Ashbaucher in 1889. Marion is about 35 miles west of Bluffton. It is my hypotheses that Harnish began working in Marion after selling his first studio. Clearly that is where he partnered with Marquart. There is a photograph in the American Museum of  Photography that was taken by Harnish & Marquart in 1899.   SOLD

Published in: on October 4, 2016 at 12:00 pm  Comments (3)  
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cute little girlThis vintage photograph features a most adorable little girl wearing a cute dress. Printing on the reverse of the photograph reveals that this portrait was taken by Hunt’s Art Studio which was located in Goodland, Indiana. I want to live in a town named Goodland. A place where everyone is “good” and everything that happens in one’s life is “good”. Research reveals that Goodland, which is probably a lovely town, does not fit the bill for being the location of  “all encompassing goodness”.  In fact, the town, which originated in 1861, is named Goodland because the soil is good. Writing on the verso indicates that the little girls last name may be “Allen”. Investigating the photographer was unproductive. Although there were a number of photographers with the last name of “Hunt” operating in Indiana during the post cabinet card era, I could not find one who worked in Goodland.

cute little girl 1

cute little girl 2

Published in: on January 9, 2016 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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This cabinet card portrait features two young men posing for their portrait at the Boggs & Jefferson studio in Marion, Indiana. This photograph of a pair of well dressed young men sitting in chairs is a study in contrast. The gent on the right sits in a stiff position and he appears a bit intimidated by the camera. Note his rigidity and the position of his hands. Compare him to his companion. The second gentleman sits back in his chair in a relaxed fashion and cooly stares at the camera. Note the lack of tension in his open left hand. Judging by his expression, this guy has attitude. Preliminary research did not uncover information about photographers Boggs and jefferson.

Published in: on December 21, 2015 at 12:32 pm  Comments (4)  
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A young man, probably a teenager, poses for his portrait at the Keller studio in Nappanee, Indiana. The young gentleman is well dressed and well coiffed. Either he, or someone else, spent a good deal of time and work to properly arrange his hair. John M. Keller (1867-1943) opened his photography studio in Nappanee in 1897. An ad in the St. Louis and Canadian Photographer (1900) advertised the business as being for sale. The 1900 US census listed him as working as a bicycle dealer. Keller married Clara Burbach in 1891. The 1908 Elkhart (Indiana) business directory reported that he had a store selling bicycles and sundries, as well as repairing sporting goods. By the time of the 1910 US census, Keller had a new occupation. He was working as a garage manager. The Goshen Democrat Newspaper (1912) reported that while Keller was testing an automobile, the flywheel came off and struck him below the knee. The unfortunate accident broke his leg. Interestingly, the newspaper also stated that after injuring Keller, the flywheel continued it’s journey and actually went through the side of the building. The 1920 US census found Keller working as a “garage mechanic” in Frankfort City, Indiana while the 1930 US census lists him as unemployed and living in Rochester, Indiana. It turns out that Keller was a real entrepreneur. According to the Rochester Historical Society, In 1921 Keller built and operated the Keller Inn which was located near the edge of Lake Manitou. He also made lures for fishermen. Apparently Keller had a shady side. During prohibition he made and sold liquor and “locals reported he also ran prostitutes out to an island in Lake Manitou”. Keller died at age 75 from heart disease. Much of the information about J. M.Keller was found at an internet site (!john-keller/cadr). The image below was also found there. The image is a back stamp from one of Keller’s cabinet cards. It seems likely that the young man pictured in the image is Keller himself. I can’t resist supplying an interesting fact about the town of Nappanee. It is the longest city name in the US which has each letter in it’s name appearing twice.  (SOLD)


Published in: on June 25, 2015 at 3:45 pm  Leave a Comment  
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babyThis cabinet card features a very beautiful baby wearing a long gown. Her hair is styled beautifully and her eyes are wide open. This sweet baby looks like a doll. She is either wearing flowers on her gown or else someone has placed flowers on her. At first I thought this was a lovely portrait of a baby girl. However, the longer I have owned this image, the more I think that this is a post mortem portrait. The little girl’s expression and the size and placement of the flowers has led me to believe that her poor soul had departed before the photographer took this photograph. This photograph really tugs at my emotions. The image was taken by the Rodgers & Manson studio (Gem Gallery) in Elwood, Indiana.


Published in: on December 25, 2014 at 12:02 pm  Comments (7)  
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RENSALEAR COUPLE_0005A fashionable couple poses for their portrait at the Sharp studio in Rensselaer, Indiana. It is possible that this image is a wedding portrait. Joseph A. Sharp (1846-1903) was born in Frankfurt, Kentucky. He married Martha (Mattie) Stively (1849-1936) in 1874. Sharp’s obituary appears in the Semi Weekly Rensselaer Republican. The article states that Sharp began his photography career at age 21 while living in Ballfontaine, Ohio. He later lived in Kenton, Ohio and moved to Rensselaer in 1877. He worked about a year as a travelling photographer but the rest of his career he operated a studio in Rensselaer. The obituary asserts that one of the reasons he chose photography as a career was because at a young age he developed a hip disease which left him lame and unable to pursue a more active occupation. Sharp is buried in the Weston Cemetery in Rensselaer. Look below to see a photographic portrait of Joseph Sharp as well as an image of the tombstone he and his wife share.